A suggestion for CCD
Ive read that organic beekeepers are not seeing CCD and this got me to thinking.
I emailed Connie J. Britton, Librarian at the Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center at Ohio State University with some questions including the following which she was kind enough to forward to Dr. James Tew, of OSU Department of Entomology and apiculture specialist. I suggested the routine planting of native wildflowers throughout crop fields as an attractant to bees (honeybee and native) and because it is healthier for the bees to have this varied diet. Perhaps our monocultural industrial agriculture is as draining on the bees as if we were expected to subsist on only one kind of food like, say, pasta. In the wild they draw pollen from many different species of flower in a given field.
Dr Tew replied that: You are correct in your concerns about a varied bee diet. Bees do require that in order for the colony to prosper. I sense that commercial growers would not go to the expense of adding a wildflower mix to their monoculture for no other monetary reason than to help bees. No doubt a common argument would be that the pollination rental fee is their contribution to bee management. Upon leaving the commercial fields, the beekeeper would be responsible for providing the varied diet to his bee colonies you have described. I am not opposed to your suggestion and cannot say whether or not it would work, but I can say that it's not presently done.
So beekeepers what about it? Wouldn't this be a more natural and effective practice than just dropping boxes off near a (toxic) field. Should a push be made to get I.A. to include non-poisonous native wildflowers in their crop planting. I have read that some people are concerned that the bees would mainly visit the wildflowers. In my uneducated opinion I find that doubtful, rather I suspect that these crops might attract native bees and INCREASE pollination (and native bee numbers). On my own property honeybee and their smaller native bee cousins work side by side just fine. About I.A. not being interested in the program my guess is that when the alternative is no crops they may change their tune.
For this to work though, Roundup Ready (GMO) Crops would have to be dispensed with since they are the quintenncential monoculture. Herbicide is sprayed to put down all plants except the crop plant itself.
But who wants 'em anyway. I mean they are even a suspect in CCD.